FT. PIERCE, Fla. – The St. Scholastica baseball team earned a hard-fought split with 13th-ranked Keystone College (Pa.) on Thursday, falling in game one 5-1, but coming from behind twice to win game two 3-2.
The Giants, who went 2-2 at last year's NCAA Division III World Series, would do all of their damage in game one with two outs.
After a scoreless first inning, the Giants got the board in the top of the second with back-to-back two-out doubles with Austin Straub getting the RBI. The Saints matched Keystone in the bottom of the frame as on a single by Tom Juberian; Kyle Moody would score on an errant throw by the right fielder.
It remained tied until the top of the fourth when after two quick outs, the Giants, put together five straight hits, including a pair of triples and had four runs come across to make it 5-1.
Ben Grieger came in relief for the Saints with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and got out of it unscathed by inducing a double play. Grieger pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed just two hits, but the Saints could not muster any offense as they dropped game one 5-1. CSS managed only three hits.
In game two, the Giants jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and led by that same margin until the top of the fifth. In that inning, John Hietpas had a RBI single that scored Moody to tie it up.
It didn't remain tied for long as Lymbel Guerrero led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to put Keystone back up on top 2-1.
The Saints answered in the top of the sixth as David Vogelgesang doubled to begin the rally. After Kyle Jensen drew a walk, Moody doubled in Vogelgesang to tie the game. Tom Juberian followed with a slow roller down the third base line that ultimately landed on the bag allowing Jensen to score and give CSS a 3-2 lead.
The Giants (7-2) would put the pressure on the Saints in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, the Giants had the tying run at third and winning run at first, but Jensen induced a ground ball to end it to give the Saints the split and a 3-2 victory.
Jensen went the distance for CSS, finishing with five strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Hietpas was 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the offense. The Saints are now 2-2 this season against 2011 NCAA Division III World Series teams.
The Saints (6-6) will wrap up their trip in Fort Pierce tomorrow when they face Richard Stockton College (N.J.) in a doubleheader beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern Time and 8 a.m. local time. All of the action can be heard live on csssaints.com.